Ostaszewska on the storm about the “green border”: It is disgusting

Katarzyna Janowska: The Green Border by Agnieszka Holland won the Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival. What caught your attention about the reception to this film?

Maja Ostaszewska: Incredible enthusiasm. Agnieszka Holland herself says that perhaps none of her films have had such an emotional reception. The whole room [w Wenecji] I was moved, and most of the audience probably cried. The applause continued for a very long time. Personally, I have never participated in such a long applause! They continued until the operator started turning off the lights to indicate that we had to leave the room because there was another scan!

The sincere emotions felt by the audience were unique, and that is what amazed us the most. We ourselves were very impressed. For each of us, for different reasons, it was also a very personal adventure and a personal statement.

Our foreign representatives also witnessed this to a great extent. Two of them saw the movie for the first time, and they cried too. It was incredibly moving.

Maja is a regular in Venice. Her previous appearance was three years ago in the movie “There Will Be No Snow Again.” Tomasz, this was probably your first time at the festival. I stood there and listened to that applause, and how did I feel?

Thomas Woolsock: It’s interesting. When is Maya? I talked about how we all felt, and tried to remember all the events of that day. The only moment I remember is when we all stood there after the show, amazed, but delighted by the aura that was there. It was an extraordinary experience.

I have already installed it inside me, and even when I talk about it now, I feel the current flowing down my spine. I felt so grateful to be there, and to be part of this project. And I was able to look at all these people who undoubtedly experienced this film.

We know what happened before the premiere, and what the Justice Minister and right-wing media attacked the film for. But Agnieszka, upon receiving this award, stressed that this is a message not only to Poland, but to all of us, to the Europeans. Did you feel that the audience looked at you as a mirror that looked at itself as well? Is this not an indication that Poles are bad?

Month: naturally. That’s what we really cared about. We were afraid it would be interpreted that way. Agnieszka and I gave interviews to media from all over the world the day after the premiere. And it worked – everyone interprets this film as universal. The issue of migration and the refugee crisis affects the whole of Europe, and resonates strongly in Italy. Since 2015, Europe has been unable to deal with this.

Agneshka says it beautifully: We don’t help these people not because we don’t have the money, but because we don’t want to. She also said this while receiving this special award.

Our cast friends, Jalal and Mohammed, had to flee Syria in 2011. They spent three years in a refugee camp, where Jalal taught theater lessons to children. He obtained French citizenship relatively recently, last year. That’s why this is a topic that concerns us all, and that’s why it’s so poignant – we know that this problem will only be exacerbated by conflicts and wars, but also by the climate crisis. We really need to start responding to this in a humanitarian way: through good humanitarian policy, but also through integration.

You said about these attacks… These attacks happen as usual in Poland, before the attackers see this video.

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